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Is there any way to turn off the recent items in the jumplists of specific programs in Windows 7? This feature is useful on some programs (like my text editor) but there are other programs that I don't need everyone to see what I've opened recently (like my video player). I've searched around for a solution to this and I've found two "solutions":

  1. Turn off recent items in all jumplists (open the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties and uncheck the "Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar").
  2. Manually clear the recent items history.

Neither of these options seem very useful to me. #1 seems like the better solution if you really don't want someone to see your recent documents but then you lose that functionality for all programs instead of just the ones you want while #2 seems like it's something that's way to easy to forget about.

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6 Answers

The Jump lists for each program are stored in "%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations" but they are in a binary format with an obscure name. e.g. "8fbb9843e86d54f4.automaticDestinations-ms" (which I will refer to as .adms from now on)

It is possible to discover which .adms belongs to which program with a little trial and error.

  • Open a video.

  • Put the AutomaticDestinations folder into Detail view and Sort by Date Modified.

    Only one or two .adms should be showing as modified in the past minute. One is probably Explorer's list of recent folders, the other should be your program.

  • Delete one of the .adms then try to open your program's jump list. (Programs in the Start menu will still show the jumplist arrow, you have to click to see if it opens or does nothing)

Once you have identified the correct .adms, undelete it and set the file properties to Read-only (this completely disables the jumplist)*

Alternatively, make a note of the filename and go in and delete it whenever you need to. Windows will recreate it with the same name.

* I tried changing other permissions, but it wants full write permissions or it won't work at all!?!

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The files are OLE Structured Storage files by the way. You can open and edit them for example with the free MiTeC Structured Storage Viewer. You can check what program a file belongs to by checking the filenames its entries contains. (The DestList entry contains the pinned elements.) –  Daniel Saner Feb 18 '13 at 17:34
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If nothing else works, you might try setting up different accounts per user on the machine.

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It is generally a good idea to setup multiple user accounts for multiple people. There are a lot of problems that can be solved by simply having a user account for each person that uses the machine and password protecting them. This would prevent regular people from knowing what you have been doing unless they know your password. –  Doltknuckle Jun 17 '10 at 18:05
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To entirely disable a jump list, using Google Chrome as an example, open Notepad and enter the following:

Set WshShell=Wscript.CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
WshShell.Run "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe",7,FALSE

Save the file as a .vbs file. I use Internet.vbs in a folder I made as C:\Windows\Scripts\. Somewhere create a new shortcut to Internet.vbs. I named the shortcut Internet. Then pin the Internet shortcut to the Start Menu. You can even go into the shortcut properties, change icon, go to the Google Chrome executable file, select open, and use the Google Chrome icon for the shortcut.

Since the pinned item points to a .vbs script instead of the executable itself, there will not be any jump list at all.

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I did this for folders and IE recent items. I diabled jump lists. Opened web sites I use frequently and pinned them to the task bar icon. Did the same for folders. Then I turned off recent items. Right click on IE and I still see the pinned items. Same for folders. When I check recent documents nothing is listed as the recent items is turned off. Half assed work around but useful for me in a limited way.

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This isn't exactly what you want, but to disable all jump lists see below. Jump lists seem pretty useless to me, especially since it shows such limited data, doesn't even give you the path of files. Like most things in Windows they seem to think the less info the better... I for one think the more info the better.

To disable all jump lists right click on the start menu where there is no icon, then click properties, click the "Start Menu" tab then click the "Customize" button. On the lower right you will see the option "Number of items to display in Jump List", change it to 0.

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He already described how to turn off all jump lists -- he was asking how to do this for specific programs only. –  Jay Elston Nov 15 '12 at 2:20
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Why do we need this manual work... there is a simple way to Disable Recent Documents History in windows XP.

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The question is not about Recent Documents of Windows XP. The question is about selective disabling of jumplists on windows 7. Please read questions carefully and then answer. –  Power-Inside Dec 13 '12 at 14:25
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